Genetics, Personality, and Race; is there a Connection?

Genetics, Personality, and Race

Personality appears to be greatly influenced by heredity. Do races differ in “average personality”?

It usually takes time for scientific knowledge to become generally accepted. Even when there is no entrenched opposition to new ideas, information spreads slowly. Sometimes, though, powerful vested interests mount such effective attacks on scientific inquiry that they are able to keep discoveries almost completely sealed off from the public.

This has been the case with recent research on race and IQ. Today, there are almost no qualified geneticists or experts in mental testing who claim that racial differences in intelligence are not due, in large part, to genetic differences. And yet, the popular press overwhelmingly supports the view that intelligence is almost exclusively a product of environment rather than heredity.

It may be even less well known that many of the traits we think of as “personality,” such as gregariousness, political views, personal mannerisms, and even choice of hobbies appear to be governed to a significant degree by heredity. The power of genes that has been confirmed in recent studies has surprised even the most convinced geneticists.

The new findings have racial implications. After all, the races have a great many physiological differences that are clearly inherited (see AR, Dec. 1992) and the evidence for racial differences in average intelligence is overwhelming (see AR, Nov. 1992). Are there then group psychological differences that are inherited? Is there such a thing as an “average personality,” like an average intelligence, that differs from race to race? The small number of studies done in this field suggest that there is.

The most eye-opening findings on how genes determine personality — whatever a person’s race — have come from studies of identical twins who were separated at birth and reared apart. Since identical twins have identical sets of genes, they are ideal subjects for study. Even when they have been reared in different families in different environments they show astonishing similarities that can be explained only by their shared genes.

Identical twins show astonishing similarities that can be explained only by their shared genes.

Thomas J. Bouchard and his colleagues at the Minnesota Center for Twin and Adoption Research have done the most extensive and convincing research on identical twins separated at birth. They have found more than 100 pairs of such twins and have been studying them for more than 12 years. Time and again they have found similarities that cannot be explained by coincidence.

For example, of all their subjects, only two were afraid to go into an acoustically shielded room for special testing. The same two people agreed separately to enter the room only if the door were wired open. Whenever they were at the beach, they went into the water backwards and only up to their knees. They were, of course, a pair of identical twins, and since they had been reared apart their curious behavior can only be explained genetically.

Another pair of twins discovered on their first meeting as adults that they both used Canoe shaving lotion and Vademecum toothpaste, and smoked Lucky Strike cigarettes. After they parted, they exchanged birthday presents that crossed in the mail and proved to be identical.

Some similarities are even more uncanny. One pair of twins had both divorced women named Linda and then married women named Betty. They later discovered that before they met each other as adults, they had taken several Florida vacations on the very same stretch of beach and had driven there in the same model of Chevrolet. They had both named their sons James Alan (one was “Allen”) and both chain smoked Salems. Both chewed their nails and had woodworking shops in their basements.

Another pair of twins who were reunited at age thirty found that they had similar mustaches and hair styles, aviator glasses, big belt buckles and big key rings. Both were volunteer firemen and had jobs installing safety equipment. Both drank Budweiser and crushed the empty cans.

Separated at birth.

One pair of twins confessed that they did not vote in elections because they did not think they were well enough informed to make wise decisions, another pair had each been married five times, and a third pair firmly refused — in separate interviews, of course — to answer controversial questions. One pair of twins were habitual gigglers and said that until they finally met the other twin they had never known anyone who laughed so freely.

Dr. Bouchard and his colleagues found that similarities of this kind were the rule rather than the exception. Moreover, identical traits are uniquely characteristic of identical twins. Fraternal twins, who are no more genetically alike than ordinary siblings, do not show this kind of remarkable similarity even when they are reared together in the same family. As for intelligence, it was discovered long ago that identical twins reared apart have IQs that are closer to each other than those of fraternal twins reared together.

No one would argue that environment has no effect on the mind. However, it is increasingly clear that there are deep-seated psychological and personal traits that are established at birth and are unaffected by environment.

Emergenesis

In an article in the December 1992 issue of American Psychologist, Dr. Bouchard and his colleagues have speculated on what their findings mean for genetic theory. The traditional Mendelian approach has been to look for traits that run in families. High intelligence, schizophrenia, diabetes, baldness, and blue eyes are all likely to appear in succeeding generations and are therefore accepted as having genetic origins.

But what about a liking for woodworking or Budweiser, or the conviction that one is not well-enough informed to vote? These traits are either not likely to run in families or, if they do, have usually been thought to be caused by parental influence. However, since the Minnesota twin studies suggest that genes are at work even at the level of individual personality traits, genetic theory must be revised to explain this.

In addition to those physical traits that are clearly genetic, and distinct conditions and diseases for which the genetic origins have been discovered, it appears that we all have many traits that are genetically influenced in complicated ways that are not yet understood. David T. Lykken, one of Dr. Bouchard’s colleagues, has coined the term “emergenesis” to describe this phenomenon. According to his definition, an emergenic trait is a “novel or emergent property” that results from combinations of more basic genetic traits.

If genes are at work even at the level of personality traits, genetic theory must be revised.

The random genetic mixing that takes place through sexual reproduction can produce chance combinations that result in traits not seen in any ancestor. Since these traits do not run in families, they would not ordinarily be thought of as genetic. The remarkable similarities found in identical twins suggests that even those uniquely individual traits heretofore thought to be products of environment or of chance occurrence are strongly influenced by genetics.

The American Psychologist article gives an example of how twin studies have shifted our understanding of the balance between environment and heredity. In one case of identical twins reared apart, both developed serious psychological problems by age ten. According to a psychoanalyst who examined both girls, their disorders were so similar that he described them as “equivalently pathological.” However, he also noted that if each child had been studied separately, most clinicians would never have suspected a genetic cause. Although their families were very different from each other, it would have been tempting to explain the girls’ conditions in terms of parental personality and family dynamics. It was only because the children were identical twins and had become “equivalently pathological” at the same age that doctors realized that this was probably a genetic problem.

The study of identical twins therefore suggests that heredity accounts for much more of our personalities and characteristics than even geneticists had thought possible. As Dr. Bouchard puts it, “the vast majority of psychological traits are influenced to some degree by genetic factors.” Personality testing of twins has led him to conclude that although environment has a clear effect on personality, even such things as religious fervor, political convictions, gregariousness, and moral integrity appear to be 40 to 50 percent determined by heredity.

Satisfaction deferred.

How do these new findings apply to the different races? Although it is difficult to evaluate personality, and the political pressures against racial comparisons are enormous, a certain amount of data has nevertheless come to light.

For example, it is well known that criminals typically have lower IQs than non-criminals. The lower average intelligence of blacks and Hispanics as compared to whites and Asians doubtless explains much of the differences in crime rates. However, other genetic factors may be involved.

In their wide-ranging book, Crime and Human Nature, James Wilson and Richard Herrnstein point out that criminals are almost always more impulsive than non-criminals. They cannot put off the satisfaction of their desires, even if immediate satisfaction means smashing and grabbing. Other researchers, whose work has been exhaustively summarized by J. Philippe Rushton of the University of Western Ontario, have found that blacks are more impulsive in this sense than whites, who are in turn more impulsive than Asians.

If it is true that blacks favor immediate impulse over long-range goals and if they are less able to sacrifice today for rewards tomorrow, it would help explain not just high rates of criminality but the chaos and lack of development that characterize all black societies. It takes foresight and self-control to work at a boring job rather than rob a liquor store, or to invest money rather than spend it, or to do homework rather than watch television. Any group that cannot defer satisfaction will not progress very far.

Prof. Herrnstein and Prof. Wilson also point out that blacks and whites get different scores on standard, pencil-and-paper personality tests. The best known such test is the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory), which measures the extent to which someone deviates in various ways from the norm. Black men get higher scores — meaning they are less “normal” — than whites on every measure except femininity. Whether or not, as Prof. Wilson and Prof. Herrnstein suggest, the MMPI is based on an arbitrarily white definition of “normal,” it is still significant that blacks and whites get different scores. It makes no difference if, by black standards, it is whites who are abnormal; what matters — and is scarcely known outside the expert community — is that measurement of personality consistently gives different average results for different races.

Victor Elion and Edwin Megargee have tried to test the validity of the MMPI for blacks by concentrating on just one of its components, the Psychopathic deviate (Pd) scale. They compared the scores of college students, first-time criminals, and repeat offenders — for both blacks and whites — and found that for both races, Pd scores rose with the degree of criminality. Their conclusion is that the MMPI is an accurate predictor of deviance. Therefore, higher average scores among blacks probably reflect a real, underlying difference in personality.

The view that the races differ psychologically is scarcely new. In a recent paper, Michael Levin notes that 15th-century Arab slaveholders concluded that blacks were unintelligent, had a good rhythmic sense, and were highly sexed. These were opinions of men who had had no previous contact with blacks and had no other information about them.

In our own era, a number of authorities have concluded that psychological differences between the races are as striking and profound as physical differences. The great British anthropologist, Sir Arthur Kieth, maintained that “the primary marks of race are psychological.” Louis Leakey of more recent fame has said, “I would be inclined to suggest that however great may be the physical differences between such races as the European and the Negro, the mental and psychological differences are greater.”

Albert Schweitzer, who devoted his life to ease the sufferings of Africans concluded at the end of his career: “They [Africans] have neither the intellectual, mental or emotional abilities to equate or to share equally with white men in any of the functions of our civilization.”

The views of such men as Dr. Leakey and Dr. Schweitzer are confirmed by the consistent failure of blacks to conform to the demands of white society. It may well be, as Michael Levin is brave enough to suggest, that it is foolish to expect them to do so. As he puts it: “At an aggregate statistical level it may not be possible for blacks to satisfy white norms … If so, blaming Negroids for deviation from white norms of self-restraint is as pointless as blaming cats for not eating hay.”

Foundations of Liberalism

Clearly stated conclusions like this account for why any discussion of inherent genetic differences terrifies the defenders of orthodoxy. Virtually every attitude that can today be described as “liberal” depends on blind faith in the power of environment to overcome the consequences of genetics. (An interesting exception to this is the acceptance among many liberals of the view that homosexuality is biologically determined. People who would be horrified at the idea that women are biologically better suited than men to child-rearing or that blacks are inherently less intelligent than whites seem to turn into instant geneticists when it comes to homosexuality.)

Liberals believe that crime, stupidity, poverty, and deviance must not be the result of hereditary limitations and must be caused by bad surroundings. Government must therefore intrude into every corner of our lives as part of its sacred mission to improve those surroundings. Likewise, since it is only accidents of environment that cause people of different races to attain different levels of civilization, environmental tuning can raise people of any race to the highest levels. It therefore makes no difference if whites are displaced by waves of non-white immigrants.

Since liberalism does not even begin to make sense unless these things are true, its defenders are ruthless opponents of any scientific inquiry that might unearth awkward facts. That is why a conference that was to be underwritten last year by the National Institutes of Health suddenly lost its funding when the guardians of orthodoxy learned that it was to study genetic causes of crime. They were afraid — perhaps justifiably — that blacks would be found to be more inherently crime prone than other races.

For the last several decades, the forces of militant liberalism have been remarkably successful at preventing even the expression of inconvenient facts, much less further discovery. This is beginning to change. Facts can be suppressed for only so long before they come tumbling out in a rush. The dam is cracking and before long it will break.

AR

20 thoughts on “Genetics, Personality, and Race; is there a Connection?

  1. Definition of Dumb: dense: slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity

    therefore the writing at hand cannot be ‘dumb’ but you the first commenter is notably the dumb one here. You try to strike something down based upon your personal opinions due and you not liking the outcome.

    Please make intelligent comments and not flame starters or ignorant lines that are grammatically incorrect.

    • Very good. Well said, they can’t take the truth, we don’t need them to. We just need our side to understand what must be done.

  2. Upon reading this highly opinionated article, I am astonished at the ignorance of the author. Was it not taught to European students that in order to adequately defend such accusations, one must also read and present research on the alternate views? I, personally, am quite offended by these stipulations. I have lived in a majority white neighborhood, and have attended school where I was the only black person in the class. How, may I ask, does the author account for my excelling in all of my classes above and beyond those of my white counterparts? My siblings are all highly intelligent and all of my friends, who are of African descent, are college graduates, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals. How does the author explain the multitude of languages that Africans know, besides English? Would the author like to explain why, when Africans come to the United States to go to school, they are more focused and do better in their courses than many of their American counterparts, including whites?

    Throughout history, it is the Europeans who have the highest crime rate. They are the ones unable to control their impulse to rape innocent people and pillage unsuspecting villages, attempting to rationalize these atrocities with a religion based on peace, compassion, and forgiveness.

    I feel as if I could continue to expound upon how riddled this opinionated piece is with fallacies disguised as facts, but I have a healthy life to live. A life in which does not involve dwelling on how pitiful so many white people are who spend their time trying to figure out how to rid the world of the majority of the population.

    • The Biological Reality of Race
      By Dennis Mangan
      The Biological Reality of Race

      The concept of race has long been under assault by egalitarian liberals, Boasian anthropologists, and other bien pensants who abhor the idea that every human being is not equally capable of the heights of accomplishment. The notion that humans differ systematically in various characteristics would, if accepted, put a huge damper in many left-liberal projects – one of the most prominent being education, on which the left wants to spend ever more billions in order to finally do away with racial achievement gaps – and perhaps most importantly would rob them of their generalized accusation of racism, directed at whites and used to explain the underachievement – or overachievement in the cases of things like crime, drug use, and illegitimacy – of various non-white ethnic groups.

      One of the leading champions of the no-such-thing-as-race school of thought (if it can be said that any thought goes into it) has been the biologist and self-identified Marxist Richard Lewontin. His critique of the concept of race focuses on the fact that most genetic variation occurs within races, which is true enough when looking at only one genetic locus. However, when multiple loci are compared, it is seen that they vary systematically among races, and when these multiple loci are taken into account, it’s possible to classify individuals by race with almost perfect accuracy. Hence, Lewontin’s critique has come to be known as Lewontin’s fallacy.

      A new paper by philosopher Neven Sesardic, “Race: a social destruction of a biological concept,” published in the journal Biology and Philosophy, takes the critique further.

      A number of contemporary philosophers, anthropologists, geneticists, evolutionary biologists and psychologists have argued for some time that the concept of race does not have a biological reality. But what is actually being denied here? What exactly does it mean that a concept has (or does not have) a biological reality?

      Much of Sesardic’s work here involves the clearing up of straw men. For example:

      Naomi Zack claims that those who believe in the existence of human races ‘‘to this day… assume the following: (1) races are made up of individuals sharing the same essence; (2) each race is sharply discontinuous from all others…’’ (Zack 2002, 63—italics added).

      Sesardic shows that hardly any scientist has ever believed Zack’s two propositions. Another straw man set up by a race denier says that there are no alleles distinctive of “this race or that”, and that therefore “races are not biologically real”. Sesardic rightly shows that this statement is a “parody” of what actual scientists believe.

      Sesardic points out that the exactness demanded of the concept of race by those who believe that it has no biological reality are so demanding that, were they accepted as legitimate, there couldn’t even be any such thing as species, for, quoting Matt Ridley, “the characters that define a species will not be present in all members of that species and absent from all members of other species”.

      As for Lewontin’s fallacy, Sesardic writes:

      Lewontin’s univariate approach to the conceptualization of race is particularly clear when he asks: ‘‘How much difference in the frequencies of A, B, AB, and O blood groups does one require before deciding that it is large enough to declare two local populations are in separate ‘races’?’’ (Lewontin 1987, 200) This is the wrong question completely. Races are not distinguished from one another by some specially big difference of allelic frequencies in one trait, but rather by a combination of a number of small or moderate differences in many traits. That is, e pluribus, not ex uno.

      Sesardic goes on to show that the best current science manifestly does support the biological reality of the concept of race.

    • You speaking about only yourself and your siblings excelling is so not the point of this article. I hate how most people seem to be incapable of looking at things OBJECTIVELY. The universe doesn’t care about you.

  3. As I look at the public school class of sixth-graders where I volunteer from time to time, I am struck by the racial differences among the children. The economically disadvantaged white kids appear physically retarded, many are puny and thin, often with dark circles under their eyes and stringy hair. Not exactly the picture of health. The hispanic, mostly Mexican kids, look like Indians, somewhat slanted eyes and short eyelashes pointing down, like Asians generally. Black straight hair and heads flat in back. There are several that exhibit fetal alcohol syndrome features, with a twisted upper lip and more pronounced eyefolds (like Down Syndrome); one boy has a fleshy “stump” for an ear! When you look at the black children, the girls are often quite tall — c. 5’9” — and of obvious mixed race, and mature, breasts pointing up and heavy thighs. Several of the black kids are “out of Africa” with no race mixing present in that individual that is apparent.
    Their butts are high in the air. Lots of the boys wear a kind of diamond earring in one ear. How cool.

    The school does the best it can, but you can see the black kids tuning out as they grow older, slouching in their chair with an attitude. Sad. Not much any of us can do, is there?

  4. “Today, there are almost no qualified geneticists or experts in mental testing who claim that racial differences in intelligence are not due, in large part, to genetic differences.”

    I know you’re a white supremacist and are guided by emotional ideology, not by reason–but I’ll say this for those who are browsing this website. I’m studying biochemistry at university right now, and can tell you that that’s absolutely false. First off, geneticists do not deal with intelligence. That is the job of the psychologist (the liberal arts department lol). Also, I can say with certainty that no gene discovered as yet has shown any correlation with IQ. I’ll repeat that:

    No gene discovered as yet has shown any correlation with IQ.

    Obviously there are genes which control brain growth (ASPM, MCPH1, BDNF1), but those genes are present in all humans regardless of race. A mutation of those genes can result in retarded brain growth, but those mutant alleles are not present in any great number in a racial group.

    I suggest if you’re going to try to use science to support your bullshit ideologies, you should at least have the respect to learn it.

    • Bull crap. Science has proven that genetics and intelligence is interrelated. Your a lying self hating lib, u can spout that crap here in the ununited states, try telling that to white Africans, u r what’s wrong with the west, u and ur universal brotherhood will destroy this nation, and u deserve it! If it means an end to egalitarian religion, then I want this civilization to collapse.

      • I am a psychologist and I thought my opinion should be added here for reference. Yes it has been shown that there is a intelligence has a strong genetic factor in it’s development. However, this genetic factor is not the only factor contributing towards the variations in intelligence.

        For example, in one study (can find references upon request), the well known “IQ” test was used as a measure of intelligence, environmental factors such as: Quality of education, quality of heathcare, social experiences and the economic climate of an individual and surrounding community, were shown to be significant predictors of intelligence scores. It was also found that unrelated children had a moderate correlation of intelligence scores with other children of the family (~.30), this shows the role a family unit plays in.

        Yes I agree, looking at Twin studies, this shows there is a significant role of genetics in predicting personality traits. This is not, as the author has dubbed it, a “hidden” or “unexposed” study. Open any Developmental Psychology textbook and look in the first chapter; studies such as these are explained in a detailed mutli-dimensional model. Hence, it is well known that genetic factors contribute towards personality and intelligence. (Side Note: As impressive as the results of the twin studies might suggest similarities between twins, there have been thousands done, without that level of similarities too).

        The following point is the main things I want to say. If you skim read the above, please read this:
        The within group differences are statistically significantly greater than the between group differences for the spread of intelligence scores for racial groups. In other words, the average amount of variation between individuals within a racial group is statistically significantly greater than the average amount of variation between the different racial groups.

        So yes there is a genetic factor in intelligence, and yes there are large variations between different people. However, the variations in intelligence between all the Caucasians is greater than the differences between Caucasians and asians.

        Dont bother with this article. It’s just not science.

  5. Whitelocust makes me laugh. Kids learns that genes have nothing to do with intelligence in grade 11 biology.
    back up your idea with actual facts, statistics and extensive research. can’t? Because you are spreading bullshit. stop being so mad. get your dick sucked by a women for a change.

    • Intelligence Gene Identified

      ScienceDaily (Apr. 27, 2006) — Psychiatric researchers at The Zucker Hillside Hospital campus of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have uncovered evidence of a gene that appears to influence intelligence. Working in conjunction with researchers at Harvard Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics in Boston, the Zucker Hillside team examined the genetic blueprints of individuals with schizophrenia, a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by cognitive impairment, and compared them with healthy volunteers. They discovered that the dysbindin-1 gene (DTNBP1), which they previously demonstrated to be associated with schizophrenia, may also be linked to general cognitive ability. The study is published in the May 15 print issue of Human Molecular Genetics.

      “A robust body of evidence suggests that cognitive abilities, particularly intelligence, are significantly influenced by genetic factors. Existing data already suggests that dysbindin may influence cognition,” said Katherine Burdick, PhD, the study’s primary author. “We looked at several DNA sequence variations within the dysbindin gene and found one of them to be significantly associated with lower general cognitive ability in carriers of the risk variant compared with non-carriers in two independent groups.”

      The study involved 213 unrelated Caucasian patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 126 unrelated healthy Caucasian volunteers. The researchers measured cognitive performance in all subjects. They then analyzed participants’ DNA samples. The researchers specifically examined six DNA sequence variations, also known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), in the dysbindin gene and found that one specific pattern of SNPs, known as a haplotype, was associated with general cognitive ability: Cognition was significantly impaired in carriers of the risk variant in both the schizophrenia group and the healthy volunteers as compared with the non-carriers.

      “While our data suggests the dysbindin gene influences variation in human cognitive ability and intelligence, it only explained a small proportion of it — about 3 percent. This supports a model involving multiple genetic and environmental influences on intelligence,” said Anil Malhotra, MD, principal investigator of the study.

      The specific role of dysbindin in the central nervous system is unknown, but it is highly present in key brain regions linked to cognition, including learning, problem solving, judgment, memory and comprehension. Scientists speculate that dysbindin plays a role in communication between brain cells in these regions and helps promote their survival. An alteration in the genetic blueprint for dysbindin may ultimately interfere with cell communication and fail to protect brain cells from dying, with a resulting negative impact on cognition and intelligence.

      The study was funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; NARSAD, The Mental Health Research Foundation (formerly known as National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression); and Stanley Medical Research Institute.

    • The Role of Genetics in IQ and Intelligence

      Your brain, your nervous system, your entire body is constructed according to instructions received from the genes that you have inherited from your parents. It would seem reasonable that superior genes would provide a child with superior intelligence capacity. And in fact, researchers have discovered that parents with high IQ’s tend to have children with high IQ’s, while parents with low IQ’s tend to have children with low IQ’s.

      Does that prove that intelligence is inherited, which implies that a person is a slave to his genes? The founders of the IQ industry certainly thought that this was the case. However, consider the fact that, unless a child does not learn to speak at all, the children of English parents speak English, the children of Spanish parents speak Spanish, and the children of French parents speak French. Surely the ability to speak a certain language is not inherited, but is dependent on the language that the child hears on a daily basis! In the same way, IQ and intelligence might be dependent on the child’s environment, and specifically the quality and quantity of education that he receives. Perhaps being raised in an intellectual home with intelligent parents tends to increase a child’s IQ.

      Research on the role of the environment in children’s intellectual development has demonstrated that a stimulating environment can dramatically increase IQ, whereas a deprived environment can lead to a decrease in IQ. A few such research studies are listed below. They confirm that IQ is all but a fixed quantity.

      The Glenwood State School

      A particularly interesting project on early intellectual stimulation involved twenty-five children in an orphanage. These children were seriously environmentally deprived because the orphanage was crowded and understaffed. Thirteen babies with an average age of nineteen months were transferred to the Glenwood State School for retarded adult women and each baby was put in the personal care of a woman. Skeels, who conducted the experiment, deliberately chose the most deficient of the orphans to be placed in the Glenwood School. Their average IQ was 64, while the average IQ of the twelve who stayed behind in the orphanage was 87.

      In the Glenwood State School the children were placed in open, active wards with the older and relatively bright women. Their substitute mothers overwhelmed them with love and cuddling. Toys were available, they were taken on outings and they were talked to a lot. The women were taught how to stimulate the babies intellectually and how to elicit language from them.

      After eighteen months, the dramatic findings were that the children who had been placed with substitute mothers, and had therefore received additional stimulation, on average showed an increase of 29 IQ points! A follow-up study was conducted two and a half years later. Eleven of the thirteen children originally transferred to the Glenwood home had been adopted and their average IQ was now 101. The two children who had not been adopted were reinstitutionalized and lost their initial gain. The control group, the twelve children who had not been transferred to Glenwood, had remained in institution wards and now had an average IQ of 66 (an average decrease of 21 points). Although the value of IQ tests is grossly exaggerated today, this astounding difference between these two groups is hard to ignore.

      More telling than the increase or decrease in IQ, however, is the difference in the quality of life these two groups enjoyed. When these children reached young adulthood, another follow-up study brought the following to light: “The experimental group had become productive, functioning adults, while the control group, for the most part, had been institutionalized as mentally retarded.”

      The Milwaukee Project

      In the late 1960s, under the supervision of Rick Heber of the University of Wisconsin, a project was begun to study the effects of intellectual stimulation on children from deprived environments. In order to find a “deprived environment” from which to draw appropriate subjects for the study, Heber and his colleagues examined the statistics of different districts within the city of Milwaukee. One district in particular stood out. The residents of this district had the lowest median income and lowest level of education to be found in the city. This district also had the highest population density and rate of unemployment of any area of Milwaukee. There was one more statistic that really attracted Heber’s attention: Although this district contained only 3 percent of the city’s population, it accounted for 33 percent of the children in Milwaukee who had been labeled “mentally retarded”!

      At the beginning of the project, Heber selected forty newborns from the depressed area of Milwaukee he had chosen. The mothers of the infants selected all had IQ’s below 80. As it turned out, all of the children in the study were black, and in many cases the fathers were absent. The forty newborns were randomly assigned, 20 to an experimental group and 20 to a control group.

      Both the experimental group and the control group were tested an equal number of times throughout the project. An independent testing service was used in order to eliminate possible biases on the part of the project members. In terms of physical or medical variables, there were no observable differences between the two groups.

      The experimental group entered a special program. Mothers of the experimental group children received education, vocational rehabilitation, and training in homemaking and child care. The children themselves received personalized enrichment in their home environments for the first three months of their lives, and then their training continued at a special center, five days a week, seven hours a day, until they were ready to begin first grade. The program at the center focused upon developing the language and cognitive skills of the experimental group children. The control group did not receive special education or home-based intervention and enrichment.

      By the age of six all the children in the experimental group were dramatically superior to the children in the control group. This was true on all test measures, especially those dealing with language skills or problem solving. The experimental group had an IQ average of 120.7 as compared with the control group’s 87.2!

      At the age of six the children left the center to attend the local school. By the time both groups were ten years old and in fifth grade, the IQ scores of the children in the experimental group had decreased to an average of 105 while the control group’s average score held steady at about 85. One possible reason for the decline is that schooling was geared for the slower students. The brighter children were not given materials suitable for their abilities and they began to fall back. Also, while the experimental children were in the special project center for the first six years they ate well, receiving three hot, balanced meals a day. Once they left the center and began to attend the local school, many reported going to classes hungry, without breakfast or a hot lunch.

      Other Examples of IQ Increase

      Other examples of IQ increase through early enrichment projects can be found in Israel, where children with a European Jewish heritage have an average IQ of 105 while those with a Middle Eastern Jewish heritage have an average IQ of only 85. Yet when raised on a kibbutz, children from both groups have an average IQ of 115.

      In another home-based early enrichment program, conducted in Nassua County, New York, an instructor made only two half-hour visits a week for only seven months over a period of two years. He spent time showing parents participating in the program how best to teach their children at home. The children in the program had initial IQ’s in the low 90s, but by the time they went to school they averaged IQ’s of 107 or 108. In addition, they have consistently demonstrated superior ability on school achievement tests.

      Conclusion

      From the examples above, and similar cases in the literature, we contend that, a human being is not merely a slave to his genes. Human life can be compared to a game of cards. At birth, every person is dealt a hand of cards — his genetic make-up. Some receive a good hand, others a less good one. Success in any game, however, is almost always a matter of erudition. It is undeniably so that there are often certain innate qualities that will give one person an advantage over another in a specific game. However, without having learned the game and without regular and rigorous practice, nobody will ever become a champion at any game. In the same way the outcome of the game of life is not solely determined by the quality of a person’s initial hand of cards, but also by the way in which he takes part in the game of life. His ability to take part in the game of life satisfactorily, perhaps even successfully, will be determined to a very large extent by the quality and quantity of education that he has enjoyed.

    • Searching for Intelligence in Our Genes

      IQ is easy to measure and reflects something real. But scientists hunting among our genes for the factors that shape intelligence are discovering they are more elusive than expected

      By Carl Zimmer | Wednesday, October 8, 2008 | 32

      Image: Cary Wolinsky

      In Robert Plomin’s line of work, patience is essential. Plomin, a behavioral geneticist at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, wants to understand the nature of intelligence. As part of his research, he has been watching thousands of children grow up. Plomin asks the children questions such as “What do water and milk have in common?” and “In what direction does the sun set?” At first he and his colleagues quizzed the children in person or over the telephone. Today many of those children are in their early teens, and they take their tests on the Internet.

      In one sense, the research has been a rousing success. The children who take the tests are all twins, and throughout the study identical twins have tended to get scores closer to each other than those of nonidentical twins, who in turn have closer scores than unrelated children. These results—along with similar ones from other studies—make clear to the scientists that genes have an important influence on how children score on intelligence tests.

      • I think there is a reason you call yourself “white locust”. it’s symbolic for white supremacy.

  6. Although I am no white supremacist, I must agree with whitelocust on this one. Biased as he may be, his information, and argument is not. He posted sources supporting both ends of this debate.
    As for what I saw in an earlier comment reguarding the educational system, you must take into account that we (Americans) have a LIBERAL based government. This information is in direct disagreement with liberal views, so of course our liberal-biased government is going to ignore this and leave it out of the educational system. If they’ll lie about other, more important things, why wouldn’t they lie about this?
    (please ignore and spelling/grammar issues, %lm posting from a phone)

  7. I am asian, yes genetics have something to do with our personality. But it does not mean your bad and dumb if your black. It just have something to do with the time and situational history. In ancient times the black kingdom in africa is well nurtured and africa is once a rich land. There was a time too when it was historically noted that egyptians are one highly civilized people than the neighboring countries. Egyptians are neither black nor white. There was also a time when london was high on prostitutes and criminals and they had this plague called the black death. The whites became more resourceful because of their extreme poverty, littlle children working in the provinces, more white people experimented and did their research. They worked hard. They even went to america and slayed down the nativ americans. See they were once very barbaric. They started war. Then they learned how to struggle and it was fruitful. The white desendants now are very spoiled and well nurtured. Now it is the black who struggles for survival and in due time they will be one who excels and help other races.
    Here in asia racist is rare because we are not dark nor white skinned people, but we compete with one another. But we also love to help if some neighboring country is extremely poor.

  8. As a “white” person I’d like to apologise on behalf of any race “white locus” has offended. Can’t we all just move on from this race bullshit already?!

  9. embarrassed white guy, that’s easy to say but behaviour and genetics are linked. The only way to ‘move on’ from that is either suicide or silopsism. Luckily for you the world is ending in a few months, so you won’t have to worry about being wrong.

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